Responding to Situations You Find Offensive: A Five-Step Process
for Dealing with Offensive Jokes
(from Hate Hurts: Chapter 11 "Joking")
Begin by clarifying
for yourself what you want to get out of the situation.
Try to assume goodwill.
Many people who make offensive remarks do so out of ignorance.
Because they do not intend harm, they assume no harm is done.>
Sometimes it helps
to talk to the person privately.
Start the conversation
by letting the person who offended you know that he or she is
important to you and that is why you want to have this conversation:
"I wanted to talk with you, Mary, because your friendship is important
to me . . ."
Be honest about your
feelings and state them directly. Using the word "I" to
start the conservation lets the other person know how you feel
without feeling attacked; fore example, "I was hurt when I heard
what you said about . . ." You have every right to let someone
know how you feel; you do not have the right to dictate what others
can or cannot say.